June is Black Music Month. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter decreed that the month of June would be dedicated to celebrating the African American music and musicians that have helped the country to dance, express their faith through song, march against injustice, and to defend the country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.
Although the month highlights the musical contributions from some of our most influential and talented stars, there is so much more that these people have to offer. It is hard enough to make a name for yourself in one profession, but dipping into another lane and becoming a household name is even tougher.
Do you remember the first time you watched ‘The WIz?’ Did you realize right away that the woman who had the leading role in the film was the legendary singer Diana Ross? Or did it take a few watches to realize that someone of her stature musically was starring in a feature film? Let’s not forget Michael Jackson was also a star in the film. What did you think the first time you seen Method Man and Redman playing the obnoxious duo that got into Harvard University by smoking the ashes of their deceased friend in How High? What was your reaction to the legendary scene in Set It Off when Queen Latifah delivered one of the most gut-wrenching performances we’ve ever seen on screen. Was it shocking to you that someone you heard on the radio could also be that talented in front of a camera?
Just as sports and music are synonymous, you can say the same thing for music and acting. For as long as we can remember, artists have always had their eyes on being more than just one trick ponies. Also, in the same vein, producers, directors and filmmakers in general are always looking for what will get their film the biggest draw. This is where the two sides meet and mutually benefit each other. Oftentimes, adding a well known musician to the cast of your movie does wonders. Established names with their own fanbases bring more eyes to films and also gives musicians a chance to show off the skills that fans might not have known they even had. There have been countless artists who have started off on the music side and eventually dabbled in the acting world. There are also some who have fully immersed themselves into the life and have somewhat left music in the past.
To celebrate the multi-faceted bunch, we created a gallery of some of our favorite artists turned actors and some of the scenes we love from them and some of their work that you should check out. There are a ton of them. With that being said, we have listed an honorable mentions list for those who might not have as much work under the resumes of some others but still have made noteworthy appearances and are on their way to becoming two way superstars.
- Cardi B (Hustlers, F9)
- LightSkinKeisha (Power Book II: Ghost)
- Kendrick Lamar (Power Ep 505)
- Ashanti (Coach Carter, John Tucker Must Die)
- Nicki Minaj (Barbershop: The Next Cut)
- Ray J (Moesha)
- Chris Brown (Stomp the Yard, This Christmas, Takers)
- Dave East (Wu Tang: An American Saga)
- Freddie Gibbs (Power Book IV: Force, Bust Down)
- Joey Badass (Power Book III: Raising Kanan)
- Kash Doll (BMF)
- Mary J. Blige (Mudbound, Power Book II: Ghost)
- Rihanna (Battleship, Ocean’s 8)
Let us know who’s your favorite and if you think we forgot anyone in the comments.
Black Music Month: Celebrating These Artists Turned Actors! was originally published on globalgrind.com
1. Snoop Dogg – Training Day (2001)Source:Legendmovieclips
Suggested Watches: Hot Boyz, Baby Boy, The Wash, Starsky & Hutch, Soul Plane.
2. Common – Just Wright (2010)Source:Just Black
Suggested Watches: Smokin’ Aces, Wanted, Now You See Me, Run All Night, John Wick: Chapter 2, The Hate U Give.
3. Queen Latifah – Set It Off (1996)Source:T-Virus Terrance
Suggested Watches: Living Single (TV series), Bringing Down The House, Taxi, The Cookout, Beauty Shop, Last Holiday, Just Wright, Bessie, Girls Trip, Hustle.
4. Bow Wow – Roll Bounce (2005)Source:awol32
Suggested Watches: Like Mike, Johnson Family Vacation, Lottery Ticket, F9.
5. Will Smith – The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1994)Source:Charles Bentley
Suggested Watches: Bad Boys 1&2, Enemy of the State, Wild Wild West, Ali, Hitch, The Pursuit of Happiness, I Am Legend, Seven Pounds, Concussion, King Richard.
6. Ice Cube – Next Friday (2000)Source:Movieclips
Suggested Watches: Boyz n the Hood, Higher Learning, Friday, Anaconda, The Players Club, All About the Benjamins, Barbershop 1&2, Are We There Yet?, First Sunday, Lottery Ticket, 21&22 Jump Street, Ride Along 1&2, Fist Fight.
7. Eve – Barbershop (2002)Source:Bec Launder
Suggested Watches: Eve (TV series), Barbershop 2, The Cookout, Queens (TV series).
8. Method Man – The Wire (2004)Source:WireLover2
Suggested Watches: Belly, How High, Soul Plane, Keanu, The Deuce (TV series), Power Book II: Ghost (TV Series).
9. Brandy – Moesha (1998)Source:Derrbearrr 2.0
Suggested Watches: Cinderella, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, The Game (TV Series), Star (TV Series), Queens (TV Series).
10. Beyonce – The Fighting Temptations (2003)Source:Ronie Batiste
Suggested Watches: Austin Powers in Goldmember, The Pink Panther, Dreamgirls, Cadillac Records.
11. T.I. – ATL (2006)Source:Bryan 956
Suggested Watches: American Gangster, Takers, Get Hard, Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp.
12. Kid Cudi – Don’t Look Up (2021)Source:Netflix Film
Suggested Watches: Need for Speed, Entourage, How to Make It in America (TV series), Vincent N Roxxy, We Are Who We Are.
13. Jamie Foxx – Django Unchained (2012)
Suggested Watches: In Living Color (TV series), Booty Call, Any Given Sunday, The Jamie Foxx Show, Breakin’ All The Rules, Ray, Miami Vice, Law Abiding Citizen, Horrible Bosses 1&2, Baby Driver, Just Mercy.
14. 50 Cent – Power (2015)Source:Power Plus TV
Suggested Watches: Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, Southpaw, Den of Thieves.
15. Janet Jackson – Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010)Source:The Sounds of Chicago Knight
Suggested Watches: Good Times (TV series), Diff’rent Strokes (TV series), Poetic Justice, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Why Did I Get Married?, For Colored Girls.